Digital Games, Collectors and (Artificial) Scarcity: The Digital Future Might Be a Bit Physical after All

Among other things, digital games can be considered valuable cultural artefacts, and in their physical form, they are inherently collectable. The study aims to reflect on digital game collecting and investigate the impact it has on the contemporary digital games industry. The current trend we would like to focus on further is the influx of ‘limited-print run’ companies and their products, i.e., small-scale companies that produce physical copies of otherwise digital-only games in a limited quantity or within a limited time frame. The study aims to examine the impact of limited-print game distribution on the digital games market, as well as explore what the emergence of this trend can mean in terms of the current state of the digital games industry from the collectors’ perspective. The study is largely theoretical; the methods of logical reasoning, i.e., analysis, synthesis, specification, comparison and wider generalisation are used to address the given topic. The discussed issues are then interpreted in relation to today’s digital games industry, more specifically to some of its key products.

artificial scarcity, collecting, digital games, limited-print games, physical media